The healthcare landscape is poised to witness the next big advancement with the emergence of blockchain. In a recent report, IBM mentions that more than half of healthcare executives intend to implement blockchain technologies into their organizations by 2020.
Popularized by Bitcoin, the distributed ledger technology has the capacity to ensure data integrity while sharing information between different parties—one of the major reasons behind its growing adoption in the healthcare community. At the same time, most of the industry thought leaders believe the new technology has the potential to revamp interoperability and quality care.
One of the areas, where the promising technology is making a substantial impact in healthcare is in ensuring faster and more accurate claims processing. This is helping the healthcare providers cut down on fraud, and at the same time, limit the administrative costs.
Another important aftermath of employing blockchain technology in healthcare is better quality measurement. Traditionally, hospitals would collect patient-reported outcomes (PROs) through surveys and questionnaires, with the onset of blockchain technology, this process has advanced rapidly. Blockchain integrates health information from mobile devices and connected health apps, opening up a robust new data set for providers. Therefore, rather than taking measurements at one point in time and then reevaluating during a particular interval, blockchain is changing the paradigm to one that is real-time.
Above all, blockchain is providing an easy and secure access to medical information, which could shift more control to patients and allow them to take on a larger role in managing chronic conditions and their overall health.